Sofia & Arden

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Gay and Lesbian  |  House: Booksie Classic
When fate brings Sofia Morgan back into Arden Parker's path, will she seize her second chance or lose her again?

Submitted: October 07, 2016

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Submitted: October 07, 2016

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We seal our fate with the choices we make.

Gloria Estefan

 

“In few moments, Sofia I’m going to ask you to put our jackpot counter into the machine. All you have to do to go home with ten thousand pounds is get it out again.” For the first time all night, I allow a big smile to cross my face as I watch the host of Tipping Point, Ben Shephard, as he shows the audience the big jackpot counter. The moment of truth had arrived. He is about to ask me to put the counter in the machine. He opens his mouth… and then One Direction’s song, Infinity fills the room. I blink in confusion and suddenly I am no longer in the Tipping Point studio. I am in my bedroom in Birmingham with my alarm going off. I groan and hit stop to turn my alarm off before pulling the covers over my head.

 

I fall asleep again within seconds though sadly I don’t return to the tipping point dream. I am wrapped tightly in someone’s arms, engaging in some M-rated behaviour when I am once more pulled back to consciousness. This time it was a knock on the door that has woken me.

“Sofia, are you up? It’s twenty to eight. You’re gonna be late for work if you don’t catch the next train,” my flatmate, Ophelia, calls through the door. Her words cause my eyes to spring open and I snatch my phone up.

“Oh shit,” I grabbed the clothes I’d thankfully laid out for work the night before and dash to the door. I fling it open and nearly run into Ophelia.

“Sorry,” I called over my shoulder as I rush into the bathroom. I have the fastest shower ever and quickly brushed my teeth before returning to my room. I pull on my shoes before dumping my phone in my work bag. I sling this over my back before grabbing my keys and watch. I checked the time as I slip it on my wrist and see I have fifteen minutes to make the train. If I sprint the whole way, I’ll just make it.

“See you tonight,” I call to Ophelia as I run past her sitting at the table, nursing a cup of coffee.

“Have a good day,” she replies

“Jammy sod,” I muttered to myself. Ophelia was lucky enough to work in an office where they didn’t start till nine. Most times half an hour didn’t make much of a difference but today I was cursing that I started at eight-thirty.

 

I take the steps two at a time and nearly take out the older man in the next flat as I open the door.

“Sorry,” I offer before resuming my sprint. I reach the footpath and skid around a mother with a pram. I pause at the edge the footpath for a car that seemed to be going deliberately slower. As I began clench my hand into a fist, the car passes and I’m running again. It’s three blocks to the station and a stitch was beginning to form as I pass through the gate. The train platform is spread out below me but I take no notice though as I see the last person getting onto the train. Somehow I managed to double my speed as I fly down the path to the train. I make it just in time. A few seconds after I climb aboard the train doors close. I take a few deep breaths to steady my breathing before moving through the train to find a seat. I find two empty ones facing another set occupied only by a woman. I sit down in the one closet to the window and pull my phone out. I stick my earphones in and begin scrolling through my playlist before I feel a prickly sensation on the back of my neck. My eyes drift upwards to meet a pair of brown ones staring at me intently. As I take in the dark brown hair and olive skin, recognition flared.

“Arden.”

 

Arden Parker. I haven’t seen her in seven years but she looks almost exactly the same. The only noticeable difference is that the dark brown hair that had helped me recognise her is longer, almost to her waist. As I study her, a memory flickered in my head of me running my hands through that hair. My cheeks immediately warm as I push it away.

“Sofia Morgan,” she spoke, sending tingles down my spine. “It’s been a while.”

“Yeah,” is all I could manage.

“How have you been?”

“Spectacular.”

“Wonderful,” she replies. “Listen, Sofia, it’s probably a long shot but do you think we could get dinner?”

“Tonight?” I ask and she nods.

“We have a lot to catch up on,” she says and I find my mind travelling back seven years.

 

The first clue something was wrong was that my father’s car was in the driveway. It was only four o’clock. My father was rarely home before six.

“I’m sure everything is fine, Sofia,” Arden said. I glanced at her. She took my hand and squeezed it. I smiled gratefully.

“I hope so.”

“See ya tomorrow.

“See ya,” I echoed before heading inside. My father was in the lounge room. Our eyes met and he crossed the room to pull me into a hug. The sick feeling that had appeared in my stomach outside grew worse.

“What happened, Dad?” I asked. “Where’s Mum?” Dad burst into tears and I stepped back in shock. In all my seventeen years on this Earth, I’d never seen my father cry.

“There was an accident, Sofia,” Dad finally managed to say after a few minutes. “Your mother is dead.” At his words, it felt like the strings holding me up had been cut and I collapsed onto my knees. I wanted to cry but I couldn’t as a numb feeling spread through my body. All I could do was stare at my father and pray he was joking.

 

“Are you ok, Sofia?” Arden’s voice pierces through the memory and I find myself back in the present.

“I’m fine.” Arden frowns.

“You always were a terrible liar, Sofia. I’m glad to see that hasn’t changed. You just went somewhere when I said we had a lot to catch up on. Where was it?” It is my turn to frown. I was surprised she hadn’t heard. It made the local newspaper, the car crash that killed my mother. The man driving the other car had been more than twice the legal blood alcohol level.

“I can’t do this, Arden. It’s been seven years. If you really wanted to know, you would have tried to find out before now.” I am grateful that at that moment they announce my station. I stand.

“See you around, Arden,” I say before heading for the door. When I reach work, I try to put Arden out of my mind. I try to throw myself into the day’s project but every time I think I have succeeded in banishing her, she appears again. By the time I knock off work that evening, I have a throbbing headache. As I board the train to head home, I have one thought in my mind. I don’t think I had seen the last of Arden Parker.

 

The next morning, I am already awake when Infinity fills my bedroom. I drag myself out of bed and into the bathroom where I have the hottest shower I can stand. I slip my robe on and head straight to the kitchen where I put the kettle on.

“Good morning,” Ophelia chirps as she comes into the kitchen ten minutes later. “I think this is the first time I’ve seen you up before seven o’clock in the twenty-one years I’ve know you.”

“Whatever,” I mutter as I take a sip of coffee. Shock crosses Ophelia’s face and I feel terrible for having a go at her.

“Wow. Who spit in your coffee?”

“I’m sorry, “I say. “I saw Arden yesterday and it’s got me in a mood but I shouldn’t have taken it out on you.” Ophelia’s eyes widen.

“You saw Arden,” she says. Like Arden, Ophelia and I went to school together. Ophelia has been my best friend since reception.

“Yeah.

“Did she say anything?”

“She wanted to get dinner.”

“She decided now she wants to get dinner?” Ophelia says in disgust. “It’s been seven bloody years.”

“That’s what I told her.”

“Good for you,” she praises me as she pats my back. “Do you want to talk about it.” I glance at the clock.

“I would love to but I’m gonna be late for work,” I say.

“Just remember this, Sofia,” Ophelia calls as I hurry from the kitchen. “You’ll probably never see her again.”

 

This morning I am on time for the train and manage to score myself a seat by the window in the single row of seats, as opposed to the ones facing each other. I sit down and plug myself into my music. I am watching the greenery change into buildings as we draw closer to the CBD when someone picks up my bag and sits in the empty seat beside me. I immediately bristle but figure if I ignore them, they’ll take the hint. A few seconds passed before a hand reaches up to yank one of my earbuds out.

“Hey, what the…” I lose the rest of my sentence as my eyes meet a pair of brown ones.

“Morning, Sofia,” Arden says cheerfully.

“Do you hate me or something?” I ask, casting my eyes skyward.

“No, I lo…”

“Wasn’t talking to you,” I say, cutting off the rest of Arden’s sentence. “Seven freaking years of not seeing her and then you spring her on me two days in a row? Why? What did I do to deserve this?”

“Who are you talking to?” Arden whispers. I glance around and see I am attracting strange looks.

“No one,” I mutter back. “Was I not clear enough yesterday? I don’t want to have anything to do with you.” I stand as the train reaches my station and I’m the first one out the door.

“Just let me explain, please, Sofia,” this time Arden follows me off the train and out of the station.

“Explain what, Arden, why you left me?”

“Yes!” Arden takes the opportunity as we pause to wait for a walk sign to force me to face her. “I still love you.” At those words my heart gives little flutter as my mind travels back to the last time she said those words.

 

“How are you doing, Sofia?” Ophelia’s voice was gentle as she and Arden approached me. I glanced over at the people still smoothing dirt over my mother’s grave.

“I’ve been better,” I attempted a humorous tone but fail. “Arden, I need to talk to you. Alone, if that’s ok, Ophelia.” Ophelia nodded.

“I’ll see you later,” she said, referring to the wake we were having at three. I waited until she was out of hearing distance before leading Arden over to a bench. I didn’t beat around the bush.

“I’ve decided to defer university for a year,” I told her. “I don’t want to leave my father. He’s the only family I have left now and I can’t handle being over three thousand miles away.”

“I understand,” Arden nodded. “Honestly, I expected it.”

“I was hoping you would stay with me,” I told her. Arden had been one of my two best friends since reception but for the last five years she’d been more than that. She’d become my rock, the only person I could truly be myself with, my other half. So when she replied, I felt my heart shatter.

“I can’t,” she whispered but I still heard. My emotions must have shown clearly on my face because she grabbed my hand. “I love you, Sofia, of course I do. But you know going to America for university is the only thing that’s gotten me through the last thirteen years. To finally be able to be free of my parent’s and be my true self.” Arden’s family are very, to be polite, traditional in their values. I understood why Arden wanted to escape but it didn’t help heal my heart.

“I respect your decision,” trying to force the words out without crying was like pulling teeth.

“I’m sorry, Sofia,” Arden replied. I could see that she was and how hard this was for her. “I love you.”

“I love you too, Arden,” I responded automatically. I locked down my emotions as I walked away from her to keep from crying. There was time for that later but I had a wake to attend first.

 

“No!” I force myself back to the present. “No, you don’t get to say that. You left me!” The walk sign flashes and I stomp across the road. Arden is hot on my heels.

“Did you expect any less, Sofia?” Arden says. “You know why I wanted to go to America. I couldn’t have handle another twelve months with my parents. Besides, would you really have gone the next year, had I stayed?” I open my mouth to say I would have but then I pause. I had never actually made it to America for uni but as I think about it, I realise it wasn’t just because Arden left me. After losing my mother, I didn’t want to stray too far from England.

“Probably not,” I admit.

“So what’s the problem? Please come to dinner with me. Please?” She presses her hands like she’s praying and begs me. A tiny smile flits across my face. She used to do that all the time when we were in primary school. Then the memory of the hurt I felt when she left floods me.

“That’s not going to work this time, Arden.” I walk down the street and into the building where I work. Unsurprisingly Arden follows me.

“Please Sofia,” a desperate note has entered her tone now but I ignore her.

“Zoey, could you please call security for me? This woman is stalking me,” I explain to the receptionist.

“Certainly, Miss Morgan,” Zoey replies. She makes the call and a minute later a tall dark haired man is a suit walks toward us.

“Excuse me, Miss, I’m going to have to ask you to come with me,” he tells Arden. She turns and locks eyes with me

“You can’t run from this forever, Sofia,” she speaks softly so only myself and the security guard hear. “I’ll leave now.” The last bit is said to the security guard and she allows him to lead her outside. She shoots me one last look before she disappears out the door and her face is filled with sadness but also something else. Disappointment.

 

The next morning, I leave my flat before Ophelia wakes up. I am far too early for my train but I settle myself onto the seat and plug my earphones in. I am the first one on the train when it arrives and I score myself a seat at the back of the carriage. I turn to stare out the window as the train begins to move. I still have my headphones in and I don’t hear her approach. It isn’t until she gently lays her hand on my arm that I realise she is beside me. I pause the song and pull my earphones out.

“Arden,” I said but before I could say anything else she placed a finger against my lips.

“I’m sorry, Sofia,” she said simply. “I’m sorry I left you. I’m sorry I never tried to contact you again until to the other day. I’m sorry I didn’t believe our love was strong enough to last the distance.” The train stops and I look out the window to see we’ve reached my station. I don’t make any attempt to move. I made my choice last night when I saw the disappoint in her eyes about what I was going to do. I just never expected to be able to act on it. I look back at Arden.

“Isn’t this your stop?” she asks with a little frown. I nod. “You better get off. I’ve said my piece.” I still don’t move and a few seconds later the doors close. The train begins to move again.

“Sofia?” confusion coats her tone but underneath is something else. Hope.

“I’m feeling a little sick,” I tell her. “A little love sick.” It takes a few seconds but slowly she realises what I mean and a smile begins to creep onto her face. She opens her mouth to reply but I pull her close before she can, causing her falter. I slowly move my hand up her arm to brush a few stray hairs out of her eyes. She sucks in a breath and I smile before gripping her arms. Before she can react, I pull her close and kiss her. Her hands grasp my hips and in that moment I vow that no matter what, I won’t lose her again.


© Copyright 2017 EButler. All rights reserved.

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